Shiru: I was in an accident. I was in a state where I couldn’t do anything for a while. Here, enjoy two chapters. The cliff hanger isn’t as bad either.
Halfa brought Usato and his companions to our class.
While Kyou and I were in the middle of training, Usato waved his hand at me.
Kyou obviously didn’t wave back and I only waved back after making sure that the people around me wouldn’t notice. Why was he here? But just as I had this thought, I remembered Carla-sensei mentioning that we would receive some guests today. I immediately understood that those guests referred to Usato’s group.
As Carla-sensei was introducing Usato’s group to the students in this school, the situation quickly escalated… Their group got provoked and were now going to partake in today’s practical lessons. I could clearly see that they didn’t like how our class was underestimating them. It wasn’t really a surprise my class would think so considering how many extraordinary individuals there were.
I don’t know how strong the other two are but I have my doubts as to whether or not Usato could do this.
He had magic that was capable of healing any injuries. At the very least, his strength should be equal to mine or maybe even greater since he stopped my punch. This was considering the fact that I used wind magic along with the natural strength I possessed as a beast kin. Other than a demon, there weren’t many opponents who could receive my attack unscathed.
However, one of the students brought up the topic of me attempting to attack Usato in the middle of town yesterday. As a result, more people were looking at Usato with looks of doubt… Carla-sensei also sent me a sharp glance. I was reaping what I sowed because of my mistakes yesterday, which was fine and all but… Because of me, the problem child from the junior’s class— Mina—elatedly caused this current situation.
She’s an ill-natured and high-class girl with a rotten personality.
She was the one responsible for ganging up on the sole healing magician in this school. She’s been tormenting him during these few years. Thanks to her family’s close ties with the school, no punishment has been given out to her.
A girl like her with an excessive amount of pride was able to smile and easily state ‘Why don’t you show us what magic you can use?’.
If it was just her who desired this, it wouldn’t have been a big deal. But no one stopped her. That was because everyone here wanted to see Usato’s true ability.
I… couldn’t stop her either.
Even if I tried to talk to my classmates, they probably wouldn’t listen. Halfa, the only person who might lend an ear to me didn’t stop the situation either.
However, the magic that Usato’s two friends displayed greatly exceeded my expectations.
The girl, who displayed destructive power never seen before with lightning magic.
The boy, who controlled the powerful and rare light magic.
—Completely dumbfounded. Those were accurate words to describe the people around me. But it should be expected since they were the heroes that were together with Usato and Amako.
If it only just ended here, that would have been great.
If… Everyone was convinced from the two heroes, and just remained silent.
“I’m a healing magician that belongs to the Rescue Squad in Lyngle Kingdom.”
After those words were said, the atmosphere changed.
Of course, it changed in a bad way. Kyou, who was next to me, had his hand over his forehead. Naturally, I was doing the same.
My classmates were basically a collection of magic idiots that focused on offensive power.
With the exception of one person, they all thought that magic was good as long as it was strong.
I’m not trying to say that healing magic is bad but for my classmates who didn’t know much about it, they have a poor impression of people who use healing magic.
“What the? It’s healing magic… Even I could win against him.”
“Was he just running away in the war?”
“Stronger than me? That’s a lie.”
Just as I had thought, the power-obsessed idiots in my class were already looking down on him.
And naturally, the ill-natured rich girl wouldn’t let go of such a perfect opportunity like this—
“Eh, healing magic? Are you really that strong? But I feel like even I can win against you.”
She suddenly said so in a loud voice, cutting through the quiet murmuring.
When Usato received those words, he just smiled and said in a monotonous voice, “Ahaha, I’d be quite troubled.”
But all of a sudden, the hero who used light magic was being restrained. His arms seemed to be tightly bound behind his back.
Usato was beside him but because he didn’t have any change in his expression, I didn’t really understand what was going on. Due to the sensitivity of our ears, Kyou and I could hear the almost inaudible conversation between Usato and the heroes.
“I understand how you feel but calm down.” said Usato.
“Kazuki-kun, you can punish them but don’t overdo it, okay? …Just enough so that they get scorched…” said the lightning magic user.
“You can’t do that.”, Usato rejected her statement.
…If Mina knew that the hero that used light magic couldn’t tolerate her statement just now, she would definitely feel troubled.
But since she was just an ignorant rich girl, she didn’t take note of his action. Mina raised her hand and took a step forward while saying,
“Carla-sensei. I want to have a mock battle with this gentleman, would that be okay?”
“….A mock battle, you say?”
“Yes, if I have a mock battle with a healing magician that fought against the demons in the war, then I don’t have to worry about them being injured. Isn’t that right?”
….Really, what a rotten little girl.
It sounded polite but she was basically calling Usato a ‘target’.
Mina uses explosion magic which originates from fire magic. It may not possess that much power but it’s the perfect magic for inflicting pain on others. If you add her rotten personality in the equation, it’s the most suitable magic for her.
“I see, a mock battle…. Sure. Let’s do it.” Carla-sensei replied.
“Eh?” Usato was surprised.
“Usato, it’s a mock battle where you use magic. Can you do it?”
“Y-yeah… Well, I can do it but…”
—But, you picked the wrong opponent this time.
The healing magicians she knew of were practically on a different dimension to what Usato was. Normally, a healing magician wouldn’t try to face me, a beast kin, head-on in a fight… Additionally, they shouldn’t be able to contend with a beast kin’s strength either.
“Nee-chan, is that guy going to be okay?”
—As expected, my little brother had a gentle nature deep down inside him.
Seeing my little brother looking conflicted, I told him, “Usato will be fine.” My wind magic shouldn’t fall much behind Mina’s explosion magic in terms of power. I doubt it’ll work on Usato.
Since Usato’s opponent is the simplistic Mina, I’m a little relieved.
Just as I thought I could see the outcome of this match… One of my classmates walked forward and headed to where Calra-sensei and Usato were.
“Excuse me, for the mock battle, do you mind changing the opponent to me?”
I couldn’t help but voice out my own surprise. It was understandable.
The person who went out was the ‘exception’ in my class, a man of manners that didn’t possess offensive magic— Halfa. He suddenly made his appearance and intervened between Usato and Mina’s mock battle.
Somehow, I was now participating in a mock battle. I could only gaze blankly in shock.
I really don’t know how I ended up in a situation like this.
After I told them that I use healing magic, it seemed to have flipped a switch on for the girl with twintails? I wasn’t that worried about the mock battle itself but rather how much I should hold back.
Furthermore, Halfa-san suddenly requested to participate in the mock battle instead.
“U-umm… Halfa-san… when you said ‘change’, you mean…?” The girl with twintails asked, frightened.
“…Oh, don’t worry. I have no intention of fighting you.” Halfa-san answered. “To begin with… You don’t stand a chance against me.” He turned his light purple eyes toward me. “Usato-san, you don’t mind, right?”
“…Yeah, well… Take it easy on me?”
My opponent has magic eyes that could see the flow of magic. He probably won’t use any strong magic attacks on me.
Even if he has some powerful magic, I could just run away to escape it. In the worst case scenario, I’ll use a Healing Punch and knock him unconscious.
“For the mock battle, where should we fight?”
“Just fight in middle of the training grounds, the targets might get in your way but… You’ll have to deal with it.”
Carla-san didn’t look all that happy a moment ago but now she looked excited, as if she would get to see something interesting soon. Was there a reason for this?
Once Halfa-san entered the stage, the other students evidently got noisier… I accepted this mock battle without much thought. Perhaps… I got myself into something bad?
….I’ll know once I try fighting.
“Well then, the two of you, I’ll be participating in this mock battle for the time being.”
“Go for it, Usato.”
“Do your best, Usato-kun, for my sake.”
“Thank you, Kazuki.”
Ignoring Senpai who looked confused, I rolled up the sleeves of my uniform and started doing some light warm-up exercises.
…Although it was pitiable to ignore Senpai like this, I couldn’t be bothered to react every time. Even I have times when I don’t know how to react to something.
While I was stretching my arms and legs, I could see that Halfa-san was picking a weapon to use for the mock battle.
I didn’t require a weapon even though I did use a spear that one time. It would be dangerous if I accidentally poked myself.
From the group of students, Kyou was quickly making his way towards me. He was gathering a lot of attention from his classmates… Would he be okay?
“Is it okay to talk to me?”
“I really don’t want to but… I specifically came here to warn you!”
“….Warn? You? Me?”
What brought on this sudden change? I thought he hated me. Behind Kyou, Kiriha also made her way through her class. She also had a serious expression similar to Kyou as she looked at me.
What were these two doing here?
“The person you’re about to fight, Halfa, that guy looks like a nice person on the outside, but really he’s just an outrageous and insane bastard that doesn’t know how to hold back.”
“Amako would be troubled if something were to happen to you, Usato… I’m telling this for your own good, you shouldn’t participate in this mock battle with Halfa. Having him as your opponent is far too dangerous.”
“Even if you both tell me that…”
If I could stop it, I would do so. But since it’s come to this already, I probably can’t.
If word were to spread out that someone from the Rescue Squad decided to stop their participation in a mock battle with a student… The Rescue Squad’s reputation would fall and this was probably one of the obstacles I would face in my journey.
Most importantly, if Rose in Lyngle knew that I got cold feet and ran away from a mock battle… There’s no doubt I would receive a punishment worse than death. I definitely didn’t want that. Whether it was getting Rose angry, receiving punishment from her, or disappointing her… I didn’t want any of that.
“You two… Even though you both came here to warn me, I won’t stop my participation. As long as I’m wearing this uniform, I can’t afford to lose.”
Although I meant that I can’t afford to lose or I would receive punishment…
“……….That guy is in a different league on his own. He’s strong. He’s not someone a frail guy like you can handle. He won’t hold back. He drives his opponents so far into the corner until they completely collapse, you know? Don’t you get it?”
“Don’t worry, he’s not as bad as my Master.”
Unless he can send people flying 10 or more metres with a punch, I won’t fall.
I also got a general understanding of Halfa-san just from what these two told me.
From when he snuck up on me to whisper in my ear and greeted me, to his attitude upon seeing my uniform, to his disappointment when I stated I wouldn’t participate in today’s training— He’s been observing me all this time. He judged me as someone worthy to observe.
“Then, Usato-san. Are you done your with your preparations?”
After I walked away from Kiriha and Kyou, I arrived at the center of the training grounds. Halfa-san was slowly making his way here as he spoke to me. In his hand was a wooden pole that was as tall as him… No, it was a quarterstaff. He started rapidly spinning it in his hand but his expression didn’t change. He was smiling.
“…I’m good, let’s start.”
“Oh, is that so… Carla-sensei, please give us the signal to start.”
Calra-san nodded. Halfa-san and I faced each other. Although there was still some distance between us, Halfa-san had already lowered his posture and was in some sort of fighting stance with his quarterstaff.
His light violet eyes started to shine brighter as it perceived both light and magic.
While getting a chilly sensation from his suspiciously glowing eyes, I coated my body with healing magic just like usual.
It would be good if I could perform well from the start since I didn’t have much experience with mock battles. For the time being, I’ll move just like I usually do in training. First of all, I should focus on evasion. I’ll avoid all the attacks that I can avoid. If I’m also given the chance, I want to test just how much my healing magic has grown during this time.
“Al-right~, I’m giving the signal~”
Aren’t you enjoying this situation a little too much?
Once we were informed by Carla-san that we would begin soon, Halfa-san and I faced each other once more. From there, Halfa-san took a step forward— Just as Carla-san’s hands lowered.
Upon hearing her voice in this tense atmosphere, I ran forward with all my power despite being a step behind.
At the same time I sprung out, Halfa-san’s quarterstaff was already in the position I was at just before the mock battle started.
“!? Even though I clearly stepped out first….!”
“I have some confidence in my legs, after all!”
“In that case, I’ll have to catch you!”
From our initial positions, we were about 10 meters apart. Halfa-san had assumed his stance and used one thrust with his quarterstaff to cover that distance instantly.
With the exception of demons and beast kin.. and also the heroes, Kazuki and Inukami-senpai, this might’ve been the first time I’ve seen someone this fast.
Rose and the scary group back at home? Those guys are beyond exceptions, so they weren’t good people for comparison.
I slightly shifted my body and avoided the quarterstaff aimed at my neck.
To think you would mercilessly aim the quarterstaff at my neck… If it hit me in a vital spot, I might faint from the pain.
Halfa-san started to perform consecutive thrusts with his quarterstaff as I continuously dodged them by moving my head horizontally—
“I won’t let you!”
———It was annoying but it seemed like he knew exactly what I was going to do. He rotated his quarterstaff after his thrust towards my head and aimed it at my leg with the other end… Which caused me to trip.
At this rate, I would receive a severe hit…
Just as I was falling over, I placed both my hands on the ground. Pushing down, I used brute strength to instantly bring myself back up.
“You’re a more troublesome opponent than I expected…”
“That’s what I’m thinking right now too… Hah!!”
It looked like he didn’t intend on giving me any time to rest as he continued his relentless thrusts.
I would dodge this again it if I avoided this way… Or so I thought, but for some reason he changed direction just as he was aiming for my face.
It was like he could foresee my moves. This was really difficult to deal with!
I dodged the incoming quarterstaff by bending over but in the next moment, Halfa-san’s knee was already making its way towards my face.
“To think you would aim for this, you’re really dirty!”
Just as his knee touched the tip of my nose, I twisted my body and avoided it.
No matter what, he kept aiming for the vitals. This was why Kiriha and Kyou tried to tell me to not participate. This really was too dangerous, I would have been forcefully incapacitated by Halfa-san already if I didn’t receive Rose’s training…!!
He has been able to foresee my movements for some time now. After his first attack, he feels awfully faster. Was it related somehow? Either way, this isn’t easy. I have Rose’s evasion training but it’s hard to dodge an attack only for it to lead to another attack…
After barely avoiding Halfa-san’s attack, I used the brief moment to think about why he could predict my movements.
But I couldn’t think of a reason at all.
“What a terrifying person you are… Really… To think you’re uninjured after all this…”
“We’re at a stalemate, this isn’t going anywhere…”
Even so, Halfa-san continued to attack.
I couldn’t carelessly get close to Halfa-san due to his quarterstaff but—
I can’t just always rely on Rose’s words. I’m not someone who moves just because they’re told to. I have to adapt myself to the current situation!
After slowly taking a deep breath and exhaling, I concentrated my healing power into both of my arms. I formed a cross with my arms, stopping the quarterstaff that swung down at me.
There’s some pain but it isn’t a spear or a sword. I’m fine!
“…Magic in your arms…!?!!”
Halfa-san said this with surprise as he looked at my arms. At this moment, I released a kick but Halfa-san saw it coming and jumped backwards.
However, it was now my turn to receive his attacks again.
Halfa-san who had retreated backwards had already assumed a fighting stance and launched a flying kick towards me.
“You dodged it, huh!!”
Just as his kick was about to connect, I evaded it.
As expected, he had an advantage over me as he could read my moves. For some time now though, Halfa-san hasn’t taken his eyes off me for even a single moment…..
Well, I’ll pray that he doesn’t have a cheat magic like Amako’s ability to see the future—
“I will be approaching you with more force now!” Halfa-san warned.
But I achieved one of my objectives. I wasn’t in a position where I had to keep dodging now.
Halfa-san quickly recovered from his shock and resumed his attack. I really wanted to reach a conclusion to this battle soon too, so I won’t just dodge his next attack. Even if my movements are being predicted, I will still attack without concern…
As I coated one of my fists in healing magic, he attacked without pause and aimed for my face once again. I lightly tilted my head to the side. However, due to how fast Halfa-san’s thrust was with his quarterstaff, my cheek was scratched and blood oozed out from it. I didn’t mind it as it wasn’t as injury I needed to worry about.
Ignoring the slight damage I just took, I threw my fist at Halfa-san’s abdomen.
My fist felt something hard and solid, obstructing my punch from connecting. But I continued increasing the power in my fist without pause.
Due to the force from my punch, Halfa-san was sent flying backward in the air… He wasn’t pushed all that far but it felt strange that I was now seeing what Rose normally sees— Wait….. Ah….
“This is bad….”
Am I an idiot!?
Why was I using Rose as a standard for comparison!?
It would have been fine to just knock him unconscious, why the hell did I send him flying!?
Even if I hit him with healing magic, this was bad. I just added another chapter to the tale of ‘Amako’s Avoidance to Usato.’
I started to panic and ran up to help Halfa-san who was about to hit the ground. However, contrary to my expectations, he was able to land safely on his feet after flying through the air. Shortly after landing, he knelt down on one knee.
“Hahaha… This is the first time I thought I would die in a mock battle…”
“I’m sorry! I made a mistake, I didn’t hold back enough and ended up sending you flying…”
Huh? Just now, it seemed like the surrounding students including Kiriha and Kyou had expressions that said ‘You’re kidding, right.’ Their faces also looked pale…
“It would have been dangerous if I didn’t have this…”
He showed me the quarterstaff that was now split right in half, one part in each of his hands.
….I see, he guarded with his quarterstaff just before my fist reached his stomach. He sure had some fast reactions to be able to guard that in time. At the very least, he was stronger than a certain good-for-nothing demon.
As I admired Halfa-san’s strength in my mind, he took a stance once more while dual wielding the broken quarterstaff as swords.
“It’s not over yet. If possible, I don’t want it to end… You’re much stronger than I imagined and you’ve exceeded my expectations. Moreover, you possess a strength that fascinates me— Fortunately, I’m not very injured since you’re using healing magic.”
It would be nice if it just ended here but it looked like Halfa-san was still eager to go. I already want to stop it here but… The fact that things won’t just go my way was what made this battle hard.
I opened my fist and gathered healing magic in my palm. I healed the injury I received on my cheek. After confirming that the scrape had completely disappeared, I took on a fighting stance. For some reason, that brought a smile to Halfa-san’s face.